Church Goes To Market – Without The Snow

A busy St James Church,Norton,where a craft fair and farmers market was held
A busy St James Church,Norton,where a craft fair and farmers market was held

STALLS were located inside and outside the church as St James at Norton held its second farmers’ market and craft fair.

Fine spring weather attracted the crowds to the sale of crafts and fresh food, which was in contrast to the first, last November, when one of the farmers brought his snow plough so it could go ahead.

“It was brilliant, a really good atmosphere,” said the rector, Father Geoffrey White.

There were 10 stalls inside and more than 20 outside. The Parochial Church Council hopes the proceeds will replace those lost through the cancellation of the Christmas Fair due to snow.

Father White said the market was “a way of engaging with the community, in particular to get people through the door of the church.

“We are very tucked away and people don’t know about us. You can quite easily drive past on Norton Lane and not be aware there is a church. The activity outside leads people inside and helps to establish we are here.”

The event was organised by Lesley Hibbert and Sally Vardy, who live in Norton Lane and are bellringers and church-goers. Another is being planned for late summer/early autumn.

St James, one of Sheffield’s most historic churches, says it will be able to plan more confidently for the future after the site of the old church halls is auctioned on May 24.

The money will allow the church to pay back the loans it took out to fund the development of the Chantrey Centre in the old Norton Free School building and to carry out improvements both there and at the church.